heirlooms, part two

Jake’s mother brought us a lovely gift when Beatrice was born.  Her own mother had just unpacked an old trunk that had been up in the rafters of a garage for 50 years or so.  In it they found some baby clothes that Jake’s grandma probably wore when she was a child.  Which means they were made over 80 years ago.

They are simple but amazingly beautiful.  The handwork is remarkable — to think someone put that much work into outfits meant to be worn by messy babies!  There are three baby dresses — with short sleeves, no sleeves, and a heavier one with long sleeves. 

And there are also three sleeveless shirts and a t-shirt that are just about the right size for Adeline.  They are all edged in different kinds of lace and the t-shirt has beautiful embroidery around the collar.

I had just about given up on getting a picture of Adeline wearing one of these, since she has this sixth sense about things I really want her to do, even if I act totally nonchalant like I couldn’t care less if she puts on this 80 year old shirt and lets me take a picture of her in it — I guess she can see right through me.  She has pretty much refused to wear anything I make for her (ever since the vest) or anything I pick out, so I’ve stopped making her things or trying to get her to wear outfits I like (i.e., ones that match!).

Then I read this post.  And I can’t believe bribery didn’t occur to me earlier!  It was so easy.  “If you wear this shirt, you can have a chocolate chip cookie!”  She even volunteered to pose for pictures (which she generally dislikes).

Bribery was almost too easy, really.  If I’m not careful, I could totally see it becoming a habit!

And finally, this beautiful dress is not exactly a family heirloom — yet — but I wanted to show it off anyway.  It was a gift from Jake’s cousin Marie, and I love love love it — though I have not tried it on yet because so far every time I’ve tried on any of my pre-pregnancy clothes there is much disappointment and pouting.  Maybe in a few months…


heirlooms, part one

My mom has been helping my grandmother (her mom) clean out her closets and attics (in preparation for a move to an apartment), and in the process my mom has recovered some pretty wonderful treasures from her childhood — including about a dozen adorable baby dresses that she wore and 3 doll quilts she used to play with.  One of these made it’s way to my house, and I’m absolutely crazy about it.

My grandmother thinks it was made by her own mother.  There are so many wonderful fabric scraps in this quilt that it makes me positively giddy to contemplate what they may have all been in their former lives.  A dress worn by my great grandmother?  A skirt or apron worn by my grandmother and her many sisters?  Curtains?  Baby clothes? 

I really wish some of those items still existed!  I would love to have a skirt made from that fabric with the black, blue, and yellow circles.  And check out the handwork — I don’t even know what half these stitches are.

And it is backed with paisley(!) flannel.   *Love*

There are so many things to contemplate as I look at this quilt over and over again, not least of them how very lucky I feel to have this link to a woman I never met, and to hold in my hands a little piece of the puzzle that is my family history. 

quilts, old and new

This is a quilt I found at a thrift store back when we still lived in St Louis.  I love the crazy weird family portrait look (and yes, that’s “Baby Adeline” rolling on it).  I wanted to share these photos today, partly because I haven’t found many thrifted treasures to show and tell about lately, and partly because I’ve really been missing some things about our old apartment. 

The hardwood floors (so much easier to clean in a house full of kids and pets [she says, recalling the cat puke she scrubbed out of the carpet just that morning . . . sigh]), all the natural light through those second floor windows, the way there actually were windows facing every direction.   If I may be completely cliche for a moment, I guess you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.

And as long as I’m on the subject of quilts, I figured I might as well talk about the quilt I’m currently (trying to) make for Adeline.  It’s from the same Alexander Henry dots-and-stripes fabrics that I made her pillowcase from (also a flashback to our life in St Louis).  I figure maybe if I mention the quilt here, I’ll have that much more reason to make sure it gets finished.  You all can hold me accountable now.

A November Garage Sale Super Find

Posted by Jake

What’s more fortuitous than finding a garage sale in November?  How about finding a vintage bicycle at a garage sale in November!  This is a 1964 AMF Roadmaster Jet Pilot.  Everything but the tires are original, and its all in pretty good shape.  It rides good and even has a horn! Sometimes you just can’t pass up a steal that’s this flash.

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vintage dress

vintage dress

do re mi

My mother-in-law, a very talented musician and lover of antique shopping, spotted this dress while we were out thrifting one day and it was too good to pass up.  The pockets have “Do Re Mi” embroidered on the music notes.

i heart my bike


Old Blue, how I love you.  I’ll never forget that day, so many years ago in Spearfish, when I spotted you at a yard sale for $20.  I was jubilant.  You were worth every penny.  Complete with speedometer and a bell to ring — what more could a girl ask for?




We’ve traveled many miles together (though admittedly, more of them have been spent in a moving van than on the bike path). 


Here’s hoping there’ll be many more.

oyster and a pearl

When we left St Louis, we had to leave behind our funky retro 1940’s maroon couch due to an incident of feline retribution (we shouldn’t have left him alone for that long at Christmas time).  Despite our many efforts, we could never fully get the cat urine smell out of that cushion — hopefully the people who snagged it from the curbside have better luck.
So we came to South Dakota couchless, and after much searching for something new or used, we came up with this:

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The color is called Oyster.  It wasn’t our favorite but, well, it fell into the right price category (in other words: it was the cheapest one we could find).  I couldn’t believe how expensive some of the used furniture was — we got this new for the same prices we saw at some of the thrift stores.  Crazy.  This was our first big furniture buying experience.  Most of our furniture is hand-me-downs from family and friends or stuff we find thrifting, which I love.  I love knowing the history of a piece or guessing at the people who may have used it in the past.  With new furniture — well, I guess we’re the first ones building memories around this couch.

And that green pillow: that was one of my favorite yard-sale finds (how lucky that we moved here just in time for the annual end-of-summer city-wide rummage sale!).  Green corduroy!  A pearl in the sea of yard sales, if you ask me.

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